Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) support and (b) protect human rights defenders in the UK’s human rights priority countries.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

​In November 2017 the then Foreign Secretary issued a revised version of the UK Guidelines on Working with Human Rights Defenders to the diplomatic network, giving it advice on how best to support human rights defenders. Depending on the local context, this might involve making public statements, attending trials, or working privately with the host government. In addition, posts in all Human Rights Priority Countries are required to have a Human Rights Strategy which includes working with human rights defenders. Funding for projects through the Magna Carta Fund further supports the work of the diplomatic network in supporting human rights defenders. Working at the multilateral level, in November 2017 we helped secure consensus on the UN General Assembly Resolution on Human Rights Defenders to support and protect human rights defenders.

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